It’s week 4 of the regular season, and the 0-3 Washington Redskins will be facing off against the 1-2 division rival New York Giants in New Jersey on Sunday.
The Giants offense seems to have been transformed with the addition of QB Daniel Jones to the starting lineup. After failing to break 20 points in weeks 1 & 2 with Eli Manning leading the offense, the Giants managed to put up 32 points in week 3 with Daniel Jones under center against a Buccaneers defense that had been pretty stout in weeks 1 & 2. Unfortunately for the Giants, star RB Saquon Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain in that game, and will be unavailable week 4. The Giants defense has proved as ineffective as the Redskins defense through 3 games, so this week 4 matchup could be a very high scoring affair.
I asked Ed Valentine of Big Blue View five questions to better understand the state of the Giants and what to look for in this game.
1. Other than Barkley and Daniel Jones, how would you rank the Giants’ main offensive skill position players and how would you describe their role in the offense.
The best skill position player in this offense not named Saquon Barkley is tight end Evan Engram. He’s a tight end with wide receiver skills and speed. Check out the video of his 75-yard touchdown catch-and-run on Sunday vs. Tampa Bay. The guy hit 20.8 MPH, ridiculous for a tight end. If the Redskins try to cover him with Landon Collins, that’s probably not going to go well for Washington. Engram is unquestionably now the focal point of the passing attack.
2. How would you describe Dave Gettleman’s team-building philosophy and what do you think about the job he’s done so far? Are there any of his draft picks taken outside the first 2 rounds that Giants fans are particularly happy with?
Gettleman is old school. He believes in building from inside out, from the offensive and defensive line. My take on the job Gettleman has done is different than that of many in the fan base. It has to be understood that Gettleman took over a team that had been mishandled by Jerry Reese for a half-dozen years. He wasn’t going to fix the talent deficiency in a year, or even two.
He’s been controversial. Letting Collins go. Trading Odell Beckham and other veterans. Drafting Saquon Barkley No. 2 overall when the rest of the world insisted he had to take a quarterback. Taking Jones earlier than many thought he should have. To me, though, he’s doing a good job.
He’s cleared out the salary cap and in the upcoming offseason the Giants will have significant money to spend. He got building blocks like Jones, Barkley and Will Hernandez in the early rounds. The jury is out on Dexter Lawrence and DeAndre Baker, two of this year’s trio of first-round picks, but they seem to be improving.
In the 2018 draft, Gettleman got defensive lineman B.J. Hill and EDGE Lorenzo Carter in Round 2. Both are important defensive pieces.
This year, pass rusher Oshane Ximines (Round 3) and wide receiver Darius Slayton (Round 5) are already contributing. Not bad.
3. What do Giants fans think about Pat Shurmur and what are his strengths and weaknesses? Is he the right person to guide Daniel Jones’ development?
The jury is out on Shurmur. I think he’s a standup, solid, professional guy. His time with the Giants will be defined by his work with Jones, and by whether or not he can eventually start winning more than he loses. Now that Jones is playing we will find out if Shurmur is the right coach. He’s had success throughout his career with all kinds of quarterbacks. He’s the only coach to have coaxed really good football out of Case Keenum. So, we’ll see.
4. The Redskins signed Ereck Flowers in the offseason and moved him to LG, and (to the surprise of most Redskins fans) he has actually developed into a pretty good LG, reportedly saying it’s the happiest he’s been since coming to the NFL because the demands of a guard are a better fit for him. Have Giants fans been following this story and what do they think of it? Why didn’t the Giants try him out at guard?
Giants fans are happy to be rid of Flowers. He was, and is, an atrocious tackle. His personality was not a fit for New York and it was obvious he wasn’t enjoying it. Why didn’t they try him at guard? Well, the biggest reason, I think, is that former GM Jerry Reese really got his back up about Flowers after picking him ninth overall in 2015. He was bound and determined to prove he was right that Flowers could be a left tackle, and wasn’t having the idea of replacing or moving him. Even last year, the need was at right tackle, so that was where they tried him.
There are probably some fans still wishing the Giants had tried Flowers inside. Most are just glad he’s gone. Some players just need to move on, and I suspect Flowers is a guy who wasn’t going to succeed with the Giants no matter where they played him.
5. What kind of game do you expect this to be and what do you think will be the critical factors in determining the outcome? If you were HC of the Redskins, how would you gameplan for this matchup and what weaknesses would you exploit on the Giants?
Offensively, can the Giants run the ball enough without Barkley so that Jones, in only his second start, doesn’t have to try to do everything? Jones handled pressure exceptionally well vs. the Bucs, but if I was Washington I would pretty much just pin my ears back, come after him with everything I have and try to force mistakes. Forget run defense until the Giants show you they actually can run the ball.
Defensively, the Giants haven’t been good. The pass defense has been awful, with a struggling Janoris Jenkins on one side and a rookie in Baker on the other. If I were the Redskins I would look for opportunities to take shots against the corners.
Thanks again to Ed Valentine for taking time out of his day to answer our questions about the Giants.
As of now, Vegas has the Giants as 3 point favorites over the Redskins. Which would you bet?
This poll is closed
Giants win by 3+ points
Giants win by less than 3 points
Redskins win outright
As of now, Vegas has the Over/Under for this game as 49 points. Which would you bet?
This poll is closed
More than 49 total points are scored in this game (both sides combined)
Fewer than 49 total points are scored in this game (both sides combined)